Can solar panels be moved?

Fast read

Understanding the terms and conditions of the product warranty is a crucial step before making the investment in solar panels. Many solar panel warranties explicitly state that they become invalid if the panels are relocated to a different site.

Solar modules are sensitive and can easily get damaged if moved improperly. To safeguard your warranty, it's essential to reach out to the installer who put the panels in place. Additionally, in unique situations — like when temporary relocation for roof repairs is necessary—seek permission from the manufacturer to ensure warranty coverage.

The government's STC panel rebate needs the solar energy system to stay where it was originally installed. Moving it may necessitate repayment of the rebate received. Instead of moving a solar system, it's usually better to expand the current setup when considering a new location. This approach ensures continued warranty coverage.

Can I move my solar panels to another part of the roof?

The warranty for solar panels warns against moving them, as it can cancel the warranty.

When you sell your home, you don’t have to take the solar panels with you to the new property. This process, involving detachment, transport, and subsequent reinstallation, presents logistical challenges, and potential risks, and often outweighs the perceived advantages or cost-effectiveness.

Once solar panels are affixed to a specific location, it’s typically recommended to leave them in situ. The warranty coverage associated with these panels is specifically tailored for the initial installation site. Moving the panels could void the warranty, which was meant for the place where they were first installed.

When selling their property, most homeowners choose to keep their solar panels. This is because moving them can be complex and risky.

By keeping the panels where they were installed, the warranty for these panels remains valid. It effectively prevents any potential issues that might arise from relocating the panels to a different location. This proactive choice helps sidestep complications that could occur if the panels were to be moved elsewhere.

Reasons Behind the Warranty Clause

The warranty for solar panels is important because they can easily get damaged if not handled or moved correctly. Poor handling during movement can result in small cracks, known as microcracks, developing within the cells of the panels. Although these cracks might seem small initially, they can become problematic over time.

The build-up of microcracks within the panels can create areas known as ‘hot spots.’ These hot spots generate excess heat, ultimately causing stress on the panels’ glass. Eventually, this stress can lead to the glass shattering, rendering the panels dead.

If you remove or move your solar panels yourself, it could cancel the warranty that originally protected them. The warranty covers regular use and installation damages, but moving the panels without expertise may cancel this coverage.

installer moving a solar panel You should move solar panels with diligence because they can easily get damaged – so I do NOT recommend this method.

What about ‘Special Circumstances’

Nevertheless, sometimes there are special circumstances. For example, if there was a storm and damage to the roofing materials. In situations where you need to remove the solar panels to repair the roof tiles and then reinstall them afterwards, strictly adhering to the warranty terms might result in losing the product warranty in those specific instances.

When removing and reinstalling panels, consider warranty guidelines to prevent possible warranty problems. To keep the warranty valid when removing panels for roof repairs, it’s best to ask the installer or manufacturer for advice. But I would say that common sense hopefully applies to many solar panel manufacturers.

Before, my team and I worked for a solar panel company. Customers would call us saying, “We’re painting our roof, and the solar panels are on some parts of it.” We have to move the panels off for the job and then later put them back on”.

In those instances, we noted the address down and allowed the product warranty to continue in those common-sense cases. Also, in some examples, we probably would’ve never known that the PV panels were removed and put back on for a while.

Advice about moving Solar Panels

If you’ve removed the panels for any reason, I strongly recommend reaching out to the original installer. Ask them to contact the manufacturer and ensure you have the green light for your actions, so you don’t risk voiding your warranty.

Furthermore, the Federal Government STC panel rebate counts on your solar power system remaining in its original installation location.

If you decide to change the location of your solar panel system after installation, you may be asked to repay the rebate. I have never heard of this occurring, but in theory and reality, you are in breach of the Federal rebate conditions.

So, if you’ve moved into a new home with solar panels already installed or want to upgrade the system on your roof, it’s better to add more panels in the same place rather than moving parts of the system.

If you move the panels to a camper van or boat, the warranty will be void. So, ensure that you do not move your solar panels and keep them in their initial installation location.

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